The Case for Another Persona Spinoff Before Persona 6

The next generation of the Persona franchise is seemingly on the horizon. Not long ago, Atlus confirmed that it's starting work on Persona 6 with ambitious intentions in mind for the game. There may not be many details about Persona 6 yet, but the confirmation of its existence already defines the future of Persona publicity. Any future discussion of the franchise has a chance of containing Persona 6 information. At the same time, though, Atlus has had lots of tricks up its sleeve lately, meaning the next big Persona announcement could very well be a new spinoff, rather than a reveal for the next mainline game.

While it would definitely be exciting if Persona 6 was the next big release in the Persona franchise, it may be better if Atlus prioritizes making a spinoff. For one thing, it could be more practical to emphasize a Persona spinoff, given how long it could be before Persona 6 releases. For another thing, hype around established Persona characters like the Phantom Thieves and Persona 4 Golden's Investigation Team is high thanks to recent spinoffs and remasters, meaning these characters have the potential to keep the franchise afloat for a while yet. Atlus would be wise to tap into Persona's current potential to buy time for the franchise's next core game.

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Cause for a Persona Spinoff

Atlus may have confirmed the development of Persona 6, but that doesn't mean that it's going to release anytime soon. On the contrary, Atlus teasing work on Persona 6 without revealing any details suggests that the game is in early stages. Atlus could've built a lot of hype by releasing concept art or a teaser trailer for Persona 6 at the same time, but instead, it offered fans nothing. The lack of details may best be explained by Persona 6 simply not being ready for a reveal. It may currently be in only fledgling development, meaning there could be a void of Persona games in the coming years that a new spinoff could fill.

A new Persona spinoff would also be a great idea because excitement around Persona is so high. In the last few years, Atlus has released and rereleased some highly successful Persona games, whether they're the sequel-like hack-and-slash Persona 5 Strikers or the PC release of Persona 4 Golden. More broadly, the wide appeal of Persona 5 has increased the franchise's audience drastically, creating more demand for Persona products overall. Atlus' growing international audience creates a stronger market for creative new Persona spinoffs than ever.

The matter of the Persona anniversary can't be ignored either. Atlus clearly had a lot of plans for the Persona anniversary, such as live-streamed Persona-themed concerts and a broad range of physical Persona merchandise, but these features have largely failed to satisfy fans who wanted an anniversary year full of game announcements. While Atlus would've been hard-pressed to release tons of Persona games in a year, there's still good cause to at least announce a new Persona game before the anniversary's end so that it can end on a high note. Persona 6 would be the ideal game to reveal within the anniversary, but if Persona 6 isn't ready yet, then a new Persona spinoff would be great to show off too.

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A Plethora of Persona Possibilities

Perhaps the best reason for a new Persona spinoff ahead of Persona 6's release is simply the range of possibilities available to Atlus. The Phantom Thieves have proven themselves highly flexible thanks to Persona 5 Royal, Persona 5 Strikers, and Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight, and they still have broad potential to grow. Simultaneously, games like Persona 4 Golden and Persona 4 Arena Ultimax keep older Persona characters relevant. Thanks to all of these recent games, Atlus has good cause to generate new spinoffs starring a broad range of Persona characters.

For instance, rumors about a possible Persona 5 Arena have floated around for quite some time, and such a game would be a solid spinoff to add to the Persona franchise before Persona 5 releases. Even if the game only included the broad range of Persona users featured in Persona 5, Royal, and Strikers, it would have access to a great variety of playable characters already. Persona 5 Arena could also feature P4 and P3 characters, however, bringing the last three generations together before moving on to a new game. Persona 4 Arena Ultimax at least establishes that Atlus and Arc System Works are still in touch, so maybe there's hope for another collaboration.

Atlus could also consider Persona spinoffs that take the franchise into new genres. For instance, a Fire Emblem-inspired tactical RPG about the Phantom Thieves and other Persona users could be very interesting, blending combat and character designs from the last several Persona generations while applying them to an entirely different gameplay format. Persona 5 Strikers has proven that Persona protagonists can thrive in all kinds of new genres, so if Atlus is interested in releasing a spinoff before Persona 6, it would be wise to keep experimenting.

Change in the Persona Franchise

While new Persona spinoffs in the coming years would be great, the likelihood of a plethora of new games seems hard to gauge. For one thing, it's possible that Atlus will prioritize Persona 6 above all else in the coming years, meaning there could be a lull in new games until Persona 6 releases. For another, many of the recent Persona releases have been ports or remasters of old Persona titles, potentially meant to cater to new Persona fans who haven't had the chance to play previous generations yet. Whether Atlus prioritizes the development of Persona 6 or catching the growing fanbase up on Persona history, there are clear potential obstacles in the way of new spinoffs.

Nevertheless, Atlus should find room to make a new spinoff before Persona 6 if possible. While it would be great to relive classics like Persona 3, the franchise's current state of change deserves to be celebrated too. The Phantom Thieves and Persona 5 have contributed innovation and growth to the series in many forms, and that creative momentum deserves to be carried forward with additional spinoffs. Even if it's short, a clever Persona spinoff would be a great addition to the franchise ahead of Persona 6's release.

Persona 6 is in development.

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